The True Face of Communism: Real Life in Communist China

The True Face of Communism: Real Life in Communist China
An outside view of Masanjia Labor Camp in China's northeastern Liaoning Province. (Courtesy of
Emily Allison
Recent polls suggest that over 40 percent of Americans embrace a favorable view of socialism. But few can imagine what it actually means to live under a regime like the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The EpochTV original documentary, “China’s Walking Dead,” which aired Sept. 3, provides a glimpse into the warped world of Chinese communist leadership, which has been largely hidden from public view until now.
American Thought Leaders host Jan Jekielek sat down with Kay Rubacek, award-winning filmmaker, author of “Who Are China’s Walking Dead,” and former host of NTD’s show “Life & Times.” To understand the worldview of those who serve the regime, Rubacek has extensively studied official documents and speeches from CCP officials and interviewed former CCP officials.

The Real Face of Communism

As she interviewed the former officials, Rubacek found that those who do the CCP’s bidding must separate their actions from their conscience. She explains that everything done by the CCP is centered on maintaining total control. Everything the rest of the world sees, including China’s economy and infrastructure, is on the surface.

However, what is happening behind the curtain of communism has not changed since its inception. Communism’s goals and objectives remain the same, as do its tactics.

An image from video footage featured in “China’s Walking Dead.” (EpochTV)
An image from video footage featured in “China’s Walking Dead.” (EpochTV)

Many in the West praise the authoritarian communist model, despite its ever-occurring human rights atrocities. They may think the CCP has evolved, but this is an illusion.

For example, the regime claims not to engage in forced labor, calling its forced labor facilities “drug rehabilitation centers” instead. This sounds benign to those in the West, but, according to Rubacek, it’s a lie. Interviewing officials who have seen what happens within the regime has given her an entirely different perspective.

Rubacek says that the law in China is mafia style: it all goes back to who you know, who has your back, and who is about to stab you in the back. Not even top communist officials can keep family members from being tortured to death.

Ruback interviewed dozens of former CCP officials who defected to various countries. Diplomats, secret agents, military and labor camp officers, and propagandists told her the truth about living under communist rule. “Any and all means are justified,” one said of directives to eradicate the spiritual group Falun Gong.

‘Like Walking Dead, Without Souls’

In her book, Ruback quotes a former Chinese police commissioner who called himself and others living under CCP rule “walking corpses.” He told her, “people there don’t live like humans. We live like walking dead, without souls.”

Another former official told her, “The CCP poisons people and turns them into walking dead.”

The term is not uncommon. According to defectors, the CCP sees people as high-level animals. To the CCP, people are only useful because they can be domesticated and used as tools for the party.

Another term used in the book is “two layers of skin.” Chinese officials must separate their inner layer—their consciences—from the outer layer that they show to the public. This requires them to suppress their sense of truth, sense, and morality, while presenting what the party wants them to present to the public. When the party requires them to hurt people or lie, they must obey the party over their conscience. The outer layer justifies lying, cheating, killing, and torture.

Propaganda and Lies

A slide leaked from a CCP journalist training session reveals the party’s understanding of news versus propaganda. The slide describes the news as focusing on information, originality, fact, timely communication, and balance. Propaganda, however, focuses on format, repetition, opinion, timing, manipulation, and spin. A former journalist said that in China, those in her field must have a Marxist-Leninist news perspective that combines news with propaganda: “Our job is to figure out how to spread the party’s voice as far and wide as possible.”

A comment from a former CCP propaganda official clarifies that statement further: “What we tell people is disconnected from reality. It cannot be true. If it were true, and people saw the reality of the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP would be finished.”

Vladimir Lenin once said, “One day of revolution is worth 20 years.” In “China’s Walking Dead,” a former official reflects on the Chinese student-led protest in 1989 known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The official recounts that he told his younger daughter to “hurry and come out and see how the CCP slaughters people.” He knew that if she didn’t see it for herself, she would never understand how evil the CCP was.

Ten thousand students and regular citizens were said to have died that night in Tiananmen Square, but over the next few days, the CCP played reports saying that the students had killed soldiers instead. Those soldiers were given a memorial. Children attended and were forced to pledge an oath to the CCP. That is why the official wanted his daughter to see the truth, so she could see through the propaganda, unlike other children who didn’t know better.

Today, Tiananmen Square is a forbidden subject in China. Elsewhere around the globe, however, its anniversary is commemorated each year.

Rubacek says that since Tiananmen Square, the CCP has learned to hide its brutality more carefully.

An image from video footage featured in “China’s Walking Dead.” (EpochTV)
An image from video footage featured in “China’s Walking Dead.” (EpochTV)

The Goals of Communism Have Not Changed

The essence and political goals of the CCP have not changed over the past 70 years, and neither have its methods. The party’s political goals are stated very clearly in the CCP constitution, which puts absolute national control and money above all else. Human life and the environment can be pushed aside or destroyed as long as the other two goals are maintained. “The CCP has stated its position very clearly. It’s not hidden,” says Rubacek. “For us to think anything else really is just willful blindness.”

“China’s Walking Dead” shows how the CCP has falsified Chinese history. The party’s history of murder and crimes are not portrayed in Chinese textbooks. Over the years, propaganda posters have been replaced by TV and film, yet the message remains the same: the CCP will exist forever; there will never be an alternative, and people need to accept and love it. Children are indoctrinated to love the regime from birth.

Although China is one of the world’s ancient civilizations, dating back thousands of years, Chinese citizens are taught that patriotism to China means patriotism to the CCP regime—as if the CCP came first and China followed.

The Nonexistent Value of Human Life

In a communist society, the understanding of the value of life is drastically different than it is in the West. In fact, it is almost nonexistent.

The Chinese army glorifies the taking of life, unlike the U.S. military, which values the protection of life. The music in a Chinese army recruitment video contains lyrics such as “kill kill kill.”

Former officials told Rubacek they thought something was wrong with them because they felt the horrible things they saw being done were bad, while others around them seemed numb to it. One official commented, “the people don’t want to be cruel. But the society is cruel. They have to be cruel.”

Is There Hope for Victims of Communism?

People often wonder why the people of China don’t rise up. If life under the regime is so bad, why don’t they do something about it? Rubacek explains that even CCP officials feel helpless under the regime. Ordinary people don’t even know they have a choice, having been conditioned to believe there will never be an alternative government option in China.

From history, we know that this is a lie, but many will never see the truth. To think independently in a communist society means rejecting everything one has been taught since birth. Sometimes, it even means risking one’s life. Furthermore, Chinese civilians don’t have free access to information, meaning most will never know what other societies look like or that they could experience freedom for themselves one day.

Rubacek’s family escaped communism, first in Russia and again in China. Jekielek has a similar family heritage: his family fled communism in Poland in the 70s. He remembers being five years old and standing in bread lines in Poland.

The documentary points out that knowing the truth about communism and its history provides more than just awareness: it gives hope.

For example, Rubacek’s husband’s family escaped Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia. Had his family known the Berlin Wall would fall five years later, they would not have left. However, while living under Soviet rule, they had no idea things could ever change. Likewise, Jekielek says that after escaping Poland, his mother said she could never have imagined that the regime would one day fall.

An image from video footage featured in “China’s Walking Dead.” (EpochTV)
An image from video footage featured in “China’s Walking Dead.” (EpochTV)

No country is immune to the poisons of communism, wrote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in “The Gulag Archipelago.” Solzhenitsyn said, “There is always this fallacious belief: ‘It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible.’ Alas, all the evil of the twentieth century is possible everywhere on earth.”

Solzhenitsyn hoped for a world where people could understand the horrors of communism without having to live it. Unfortunately, history teaches that the reign of communism is never far away. However, it also proves that freedom is never out of reach, if people have the courage to stand up for what is right.

Watch “China’s Walking Dead,” on Epoch Cinema here.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Emily is a writer for The Epoch Times and a freelance political journalist. With an extensive background in Political Communication and Journalism, she is committed to serving her country by bringing the truth about important issues of the day to the American people.
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